Sunday 25 October 2009

Birds on the Jack Pine Trail

We decided to take a walk this morning, we had been thinking about visiting the Valleyview Little Animal Farm, but my daughter seemed rather indifferent to it, so instead, we took a walk.

We headed to the Jack Pine Trail, part of the Stoney Swamp greenspace in Ottawa (off Moodie between Hunt Club and Fallowfield). My wife had been here a time or two when we were dating, and I think we might have brought my daughter when she was much younger.

The parking lot was packed, but we were still able to find space.

I didn't realize that if you come here, you need to bring bird seed. (So, if you're going, now you know.) We came across the first of many bird feeders on the 2.5km loop, and I grabbed a small handful of what was left in the feeder and managed to get these pics.

The path that meandered along was very level, although there were a few rocks and roots that would have made a stroller difficult to navigate.

There are a number of raised wooden boardwalks to get you over muddy sections, and even a few that cross the middle of the swamp and allow interaction with any ducks that happen to be in the area.

Oh, and the birds, they really are tame, people don't faze them a bit.

How to get there

Take the Hunt Club exit from highway 416, turn west onto Hunt Club and then Left onto Moodie Drive. Parking lot is on your left.

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Wednesday 21 October 2009

The day a strange package arrives, then the phone rings.

So, yesterday a package arrived for me. Which is interesting, because I wasn't expecting anything.

It came to me from Cisco, a company I have absolutely no ties to.

So, with the VP of Sales and Marketing looking over my shoulder (he happened to deliver it to me), I opened it up.

And found this. A map of the world, with some major roads on it. Oh, and a sticky note with my name, and a customized url for me to visit.

When I visited it, I found this.

And about an 1/2 hour later, my phone rang.

No, I don't work for an international company with multiple office locations.
No, I'm not in the market to purchase a phone switch.
No, I don't need web conferencing software.
No, I'm not looking for unified telephony.

I like the campaign, it worked really well in getting me to visit the site, but the targeting was poor. I have no idea where they got my name, phone number and company info, but a quick bit of research would show that my company is pretty small, and centered in one geographic locale.

Sunday 18 October 2009

Charity: Doing Christmas a little different this year...

So a conversation was started in my family this autumn, about Christmas, and gifts and such...

It basically went this way.

My Dad didn't want to have to ask us what we wanted for Christmas, any found it to be getting more and more expensive as we were gaining in significant others and children. So, he brought up the idea of making donations to charity in each others names instead of going out and buying each other gifts.

Very quickly, my siblings and I all bought into it, as well as our significant others...

We're still buying gifts for the children, after all there are only 2 at the moment, and the day will be more magical for them, but for the adults, only an exchange of a piece of paper, "A donation has been made on your behalf...".

So, where does that leave us? Oh, yeah. Where to give? And how to pick the charity to give to?

Some ideas have been tossed about, with all of them, once a charity has 'won' it is no longer eligable:
  • each person picks one charity and they all get added to a hat. One gets picked randomly to receive all funds, you can change your charity next year providing it didn't win
  • cycle charity selection by age, youngest person picks this year, next youngest next year, etc.
  • put all charities on a wheel and spin for elimination, the last charity left get all funds
  • each person selects their charity and their 'gift' goes to that charity
  • pool the money and dole it out to random charities in lots of $100
  • invest it through the Community Association of Ottawa and dole out the interest every year
Your thoughts?

Friday 2 October 2009

1st Cross Country Lotus User Group

So, yesterday we had the 1st Cross Country Lotus User Group meeting in Ottawa, Markham, Calgary and Montreal.

For my part of the inital CCLUG, we met with David Clarke (Technical Manager - Canada & Caribean) in one of the IBM offices in Ottawa Ontario for our part of the 4 city and webcast CCLUG.

Starting the 1st CCLUG is a presentation by Kevin Lynch presenting "Life of the Notes ID" on lowering the TCO of Notes/Domino wth ID Vault and the PKI infrastructure.

New in 8.5.1 is the Windows single sign-on for Web Clients. Using the windows desktop password for your iNotes or web application login.

Future feature will move the person documents and IDs out of Domino Directory and into LDAP or ActiveDirectory.

ID Vault will simplify the provisioning of ID credentials. Uploads existing ID files to the vault. Streamlines the process for resetting lost passwords. Manages changes across multiple copies of Notes IDs. Provides 'Auditor' function to extract ID files for legal access to encrypted data.

Notes Shared Login elimiates the need to use Lotus Notes ID passwords. Password changes are controlled by the operating system password policies. No need to sync passwords between systems. No longer need policies to control the history, length, complexity of Notes passwords.

If made available, the presentation contains everything needed to configure the items listed above.

I'm wondering how Windows SSO for Web Clients would work in a SaaS Domino environment. Would be cool to allow a client logged into their Windows network to seemlessly connect to their SaaS Domino applications. Might be a new SSO type authentication to look into.

All documents used will be available on in the CCLUG community. (Or somewhere else, that may be determined.)

The next presenter is David Julien from Ytria in Montreal. David is presenting on Ytria's set of 7 Notes/Domino tools to find and change any and all settings of Notes Databases. Allows easy solving of replication or document field changes.

I just realized that my daughter has swimming lessons tonight and I have a feeling I'm going to miss Mary Beth Raven's session on what's coming in Notes 8.5.1.

David Clarke set out a number of initiatives for his team, one of which was establishing a LUG to help create a feedback chain around the Lotus product line.

Newsflash, the Lotus Knows bus will be in Toronto on November 2nd, and Ottawa on November 4th.

The last Ottawa LUG was active about 10 years ago, and regularily filled auditoriums. It consisted of business partners, end users, developers and admins and promoted an open technical exchange.

Apparently there is an Ontario LUG somewhere too...

The more I look at my notes, the more disconnected they seem. More updates to come.